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Pres. Aquino visited a devastated Ormoc caused by Typhoon Yolanda

Ormoc City now on its way to recovery after Yolanda

Pres. Aquino visited a devastated Ormoc caused by Typhoon Yolanda
Pres. Aquino visited a devastated Ormoc caused by Typhoon Yolanda

ORMOC CITY, LEYTE – Exactly a month after Typhoon Yolanda hit this city, the local government is now looking forward to a better community as it plans to “undertake recovery and rehabilitation programs with the support of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).”

According to the statement of Ormoc City Mayor Edward Codilla, he proposed for the “complete” clean up of the city, as he wants people in the squatters area to be transferred to proper resettlement sites as part of their “strategic rehabilitation plan.”

The local chief executive thanked President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and the many people from government and private sector who “helped [them] during those critical times.”

“I also thank the local and international donors for augmenting our relief efforts and services,” he added.

On the reconstruction of infrastructure projects, Mayor Codilla suggested that all structures must be designed to withstand storms and strong winds.

“I propose that buildings’ windload capacity be increased to up to 500 kilometers per hour to protect people and their livelihood knowing Ormoc as prone to disasters,” the mayor said.

City Social Welfare and Development Officer, Marrietta Legaspi, said that Sec. Soliman has expressed support to the city’s rehabilitation plan.

“She has introduced us to focal persons in the central office who can assist us with our proposed permanent shelter project which is our first step towards rehabilitation,” Legaspi said.

She continues, “We are glad that people who will benefit from the permanent shelter project are not only the landless and people in the squatters area. We are also grateful that DSWD allows inclusion of residents who lost their houses and livelihood.”

“All throughout the relief operations, we managed to keep our District Social Welfare Office working 24/7. We had a system of submitting the list of disaster-affected families. [We were able to minitor] our 30 evacuation centers which were mostly schools and barangay halls. And we were able to have an accounting of our incoming donations and outgoing releases,” Codilla ended.

In this city alone, ‘Yolanda’ rendered 64,000 families homeless.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.